Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

PTSD: Things that used to paralyze me,

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Things that used to paralyze me, drive me into seclusion, no longer wield that kind of power.

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The last two months brought a seismic change in my behavior. At least five times a week I am at practice or my grandson’s game.

These are crowds of strangers closely packed in tight spaces.

It is also a long duration of contact, three-plus hours of being vulnerable.

Soldiers with PTSD, rape victims, and abused kids all avoid crowds and people.

All have differing degrees of mistrust and anxiety levels involved in their PTSD.

I have been triggered, but it resembles a firecracker instead of a bomb.

Uncomfortable and awkward, they are not powerful enough to overcome my desire to support my grandson.

For once desire wins over PTSD.

I will be glad when the season is over.

It is great to be blunt.
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Dissociation is a biological protection

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From the Complex PTSD Workbook:

“Dissociation is a biological protection that disconnects you from threatening experiences.

It exists on a continuum from relatively mild sensations of fogginess, sleepiness, or having difficulty concentrating to feeling numb or cut off.

In the most extreme situations, you might have lapses of memory or a feeling of lost time.

For instance, a neglected or abused child may learn to dissociate from, or tune out, threatening experiences.

In adulthood, this dissociation can be perpetuated as you push away the parts of you that hold emotions of fear, shame, or helplessness.

Here you might say, “It’s just too much to know what happened.”

Derealization and depersonalization are two key aspects of dissociation.

Derealization refers to ways in which you feel surreal or as if you are living in a dream.

Depersonalization is when you disconnect from your feelings or thoughts as though they are not yours.
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Feeling Vulnerable is part of healing

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Feeling vulnerable has many different intensities, some minor while others are paralyzing.

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Feeling vulnerable was a constant childhood companion.

I was force-fed a food I vomited every week (lima beans) then dad would beat me with a specially made paddle with holes drilled in it.

He would scream and berate me like I committed a mortal sin, did other kids face these things weekly?

Forced feeding is considered torture in some circles.

Now, I avoid lima means altogether, a strategy, the easiest part of my PTSD. Is sarcasm part of an abused kids DNA?

If we are going to improve, we must be able to function when PTSD intensifies or explodes.

I have hunted down my original triggers, demystified them, and calmed the fight or flight mechanism surrounding them.

They do not pose the same threat but are awkward, uncomfortable, and still contain suffering.

Yes, I avoid many things and struggle with the depressive part of my complex PTSD more than the anxiety.

Complex PTSD still has its moments of destruction and turmoil.

My behavior is still impacted but that impact has lessened.

To heal we must take risks, and exist in very vulnerable spaces.

I risk, briefly join the masses, then retreat and hide.

Oh, it’s a well-practiced habitual pattern of mine.

Be aware of your patterns!
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Reduced capacity for sensation and emotion

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Distress Tolerance from Complex PTSD workbook


“If the first goal of emotion regulation is to learn to sense the ebb and flow of your inner world, the second goal would be to increase the range of your window of tolerance.

Having a trauma history tends to result in a reduced capacity for sensation and emotion.

It is important learn how to exist with difficult feelings.

You can do this by slowly developing your ability to stay present with increasingly greater amounts of sensation.

You can broaden your capacity to handle distress by slowly stepping out of your comfort zone.

In somatic psychotherapy, you can learn to increase your window of tolerance through an activity called pendulation .

Pendulation involves alternating your attention between feelings of safety and feelings of distress as they are experienced in your body.”
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PTSD: How do we handle making mistakes?

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I made a mistake yesterday on this blog.

While answering a response, trying to give a compliment, I did the opposite.

Hearing the word on the radio a few days earlier I thought it was an intelligent way of complimenting ones prose.

Now, I find out, what it means, to speak in a pompous or dogmatic manner:

Instead of complimenting, I insulted a loyal viewer with the word Pontificate.

This started my PTSD brain dissociating:

Why didn’t I look up the definition?

All those negative sirens about unworthiness chime in.

We beat ourselves up after we mess up.

Subconsciously I still seek perfection and suffer when I fail.

Failure is a conduit to suffering for me.

Why do we beat ourselves up when we mess up?

Another habit I have become aware of.

It all stems from childhood abuse and the formation of an unworthy self (”I”).
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3 Bullying Facts

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From https://positivepsychology.com/bullying/


What Is Bullying? 3 Facts

  1. When does bullying most often occur?

Bullying persists at epidemic levels among children and adolescents (Harris, Lieberman, & Marans, 2007). It has been described as an adverse childhood experience (Stopbullying.gov, 2017).

Bullying is most common in childhood and adolescence (Aalsma & Brown, 2008). Up to three-quarters of young adolescents experience bullying (e.g., name-calling, embarrassment, or ridicule), and up to a third report coercion and even inappropriate touching (Juvonen, Nishina, & Graham, 2001).

  1. Does bullying affect only the victim? How long do the effects last?

Bullying has been found to affect the bullied person as well as the bully. Both are at greater risk of mental and behavioral problems, including a higher risk of depression (Smokowski & Kopasz, 2005).

The poor physical and emotional outcomes of bullying can affect an individual, both in the short and long term (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).

A plethora of research shows that bullying experienced in childhood can go on to cause anxiety and depression (Stapinski et al., 2014) in young and middle adulthood (Copeland, Wolke, Angold, & Costello, 2013).

Adult suicidal attempts (Stapinski et al., 2014), poor financial management (Wolke, Copeland, Angold, & Costello, 2013), and poor career success as an adult are all negative outcomes (Takizawa, Maughan, & Arseneault, 2014).

  1. What type of profile does a bully or a victim possess?

There is not one single profile of a bully or someone affected by bullying. Bullies and victims can be socially included or marginally excluded (Stopbullying.gov, 2021). Either the bully or victim may have been in the role of a perpetrator and victim of bullying at some point in life (Leiner et al., 2014).

One interesting study found that bullies, victims, and those who have experienced both have a plethora of emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral problems (Leiner et al., 2014). This highlights that interventions are equally important for all groups, not only the victims.
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PTSD: A contracted state of Mind

Pixabay: Care2 is the world’s largest social network for good, a…


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From Bouncing Back by Linda Graham

“When we find the space between the stimulus and the response, we alter the rhythm of our doing; we wake up and create space for being.

Awareness is the knowing, not the contents that are known.

We can experience it as a vast sky that can hold all the clouds and storms moving through it.

We usually pay more attention to the contents of clouds and storms than to the sky that contains them.

As the Zen teaching tells us, when we are in a contracted state of mind, it’s like looking at the sky through a pipe.

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With mindfulness of awareness, we become adept at putting down the pipe and looking at the whole sky again.“
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My two cents: Even with PTSD I have developed an awareness practice.

It transports me out of dissociation and back to this moment.

Develop all the tools you can.

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ACE study versus Neuroplasticity

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Neuroscientists and therapists pontificate on the brain’s ability to rewire itself.

They say we can either rewire around the damage or create new pathways to healing.

The literature is optimistic, plasticity avails us the opportunity to heal childhood abuse.

I question their stance and rhetoric.

Reality looks different.

Kaiser’s ACE study says we are more prone to disease, mental illness, cancer, incarceration, trauma, and early death.

Soldiers’ daily suicide rates average double digits.

The military should be the front line for healing trauma.

Why have they failed so miserably?

We can train them to kill but struggle to help them cope with the consequences.

I wish we had statistics on PTSD, who heals, how fast, and what percentage?

How many of us heal?

PTSD is out of control in America and the world.

The current climate of divisiveness, violence, hate, and vitriol makes the world even scarier for PTSD people.

PTSD is far more prevalent than reported, so many are undiagnosed.

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CDC

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Look at the trauma inflicted on Ukraine.

That’s real life and death events, scarring a whole country.

Let’s not forget the Russian soldiers and their acquiring PTSD?

What percentage of seriously abused kids do you think heal?
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The ACE Study

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/about.html

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Beginning in 1994, the “adverse childhood experiences” (ACE) Study, a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente assessed the relationship between adult health risk behaviors and childhood abuse and household dysfunction.

  • The study began with a sample of 9,508 individuals representing a 70.5% response rate.
  • Respondents were given a score of one for each ACE category that they experienced.

Findings showed that people who experienced four or more adverse childhood events had:

  • increased risk for smoking, alcoholism and drug abuse
  • increased risk for depression and suicide attempts
  • poor self-rated health
  • 50 or more sexual partners
  • greater likelihood of sexually transmitted disease
  • challenges with physical inactivity, and severe obesity

A follow-up sample combined with baseline data for a total sample of 17,337. Additional findings show that ACE Score is associated with:

  • likelihood of attempted suicide across the lifespan
  • increased risk for broken bones
  • heart disease
  • lung disease
  • liver disease
  • multiple types of cancer

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Check out the blog: https://ccsme.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/ACE-Chart-and-ACE-Score-Questions-Feb-2011.pdf

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PTSD: Failure is Subjective

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My father raised me to fear failure and demanded perfection, a regular narcissistic behavior.

He told me I needed to be twice as good as everyone else, it was not a suggestion.

It was hard to fit in, to make friends when I was tasked with destroying them.

He wanted me to be separate, and isolated to strengthen his influence.

I was a thing to my father, a tool to make him look good.

Lacking empathy, he enforced his doctrine with violence and criticism, the whole experience was abusive.

Most of my desires in life were connected to this pursuit. Failure would trigger me, fear of failure impacted my behavior and nervous system

I would do almost anything to not fail.

This was true at 10, at 25 and now at 70. It has survived untouched for six decades.

How?

The drive to be perfect, a success, dominated a frantic childhood, then followed me into baseball and adult life.

Survivors of serious abuse live a life without direction, it is a dysfunctional and confusing existence.

At 30 I felt like a failure after graduating college and playing 6 years of pro baseball.

The only explanation is Complex PTSD?

Normal kids acted differently than me when I entered school.
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